Donut County is a new game by designer Ben "Torahhorse" Esposito that takes the basic concept of Katamari Damacy — moving a ball that gets bigger as it touches more objects — and gives it a negative space flip. Instead of controlling a ball (or a space prince), players control a hole. The more it swallows, the bigger it gets.
Esposito describes Donut County as a "whimsical physics toy." It's coming to home computers and touch devices, Esposito says, and will make an appearance at Fantastic Fest's Fantastic Arcade in Austin, Tex. this September.
We've played a version of Donut County before, when the game was known as Kachina. The game involved consuming small objects with the hole — rocks, blades of grass, chickens — in order to grow a larger hole that could then swallow increasingly larger objects. The hole can also regurgitate whatever it had swallowed, knocking down objects — like the sun, for example — to solve puzzles.
Donut County is rooted in a game idea pitched by Peter Molyneux parody account Peter Molydeux.
You play a hole, you must move around an environment making certain elements fall into correct targets at the right time.— petermolydeux (@PeterMolydeux) January 5, 2012
That inspired Esposito to make The Pits for a Molydeux-themed game jam.
Esposito tells Venus Patrol the game is also inspired by Bruce Springsteen ("His songs are about specific places like the New Jersey Turnpike or Asbury Park, places that are super rich in meaning to him," Esposito said.), Los Angeles and the city's nearly endless supply of donut shops. The game designer's other work includes Perfect Stride and Bubsy 3D: Bubsy Visits the James Turrell Retrospective. He also worked on The Unfinished Swan.